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Mychaeel
25th Nov 2001, 12:11 PM
Seeing the amount of detail SnowDog had put in a recent yet unreleased map of his using intricate brush constructions (and thus pumping up the poly count to unlikely heights), I wondered whether a tool that converts detail brushes to much more performant meshes might be handy at times.

http://www.planetunreal.com/screen/misc/MeshMaker-1.jpg

Meet MeshMaker, currently in an early alpha stage:  The right glass is the original detail brush, the left glass is MeshMaker's conversion of it to a decorative mesh.  Size, texture mapping and surface properties are conserved.  Just stick a prefab in and get a mesh out.

The drawback is that Unreal's mesh format doesn't actually support everything that's possible with brushes.  The probably most noticeable limitation is that textures don't tile on mesh faces, but with a bit of caution this limitation can be easily overcome.

The only problem is that I have no clue whether that's going to be actually useful for mappers or not.  :)  Right now it's just a proof of concept; it's not too far away from a full-fledged tool with a nice and easy user interface, but before I'd like to have some feedback from you.

If somebody would like to have a demonstration, send me your prefab (along with a list of the texture packages it uses).

Exodus-R
25th Nov 2001, 12:46 PM
I use MilkShape3D 1.57
Main it is required to understand a principle of compilation 'ucc make' from *.3d in *.u
I have not any tools and is compelled to work in the HEX-editor :(

Mychaeel
25th Nov 2001, 01:11 PM
Wow, that's a beautiful rose... :)

Yeah, it's unfortunate MilkShape doesn't support any of Unreal's mesh face properties such as translucency or two-sidedness. :( For my own convenience I created a Perl script that sets those flags for faces that use a given material in Unreal .3d files (see attachment).

But to get back on topic: What MeshMaker does is converting prefabs (basically brushes) to meshes. If your rose would have been an (insanely intricate and very beautiful) brush, MeshMaker might have helped to create a mesh out of it.

I'm figuring the main "target group" of MeshMaker would be people who want to create a quick decorative mesh with the tool they know well, UnrealEd, rather than having to bother with a modelling program like MilkShape (http://www.swissquake.ch/chumbalum-soft/), a skinning tool like LithUnwrap (http://www.geocities.com/lithunwrap/), UnrealScript and UCC.

LP
25th Nov 2001, 01:12 PM
WOOOOW awesome model

TaoPaiPai
25th Nov 2001, 03:26 PM
WOW and WOW
Awesome model (rose) and very interesting program.
Mychaell I am very interested by this conversion tool!

LP
25th Nov 2001, 03:48 PM
u HAVE to let us get our hands on that program when its finished
:)

tarquin
26th Nov 2001, 12:17 PM
I tried milkshape ages ago, & found it very confusing.

Looks like it'll be extremely useful, Mychaeel. :tup:

Exodus-R
26th Nov 2001, 12:54 PM
Originally posted by Mychaeel
But to get back on topic: What MeshMaker does is converting prefabs (basically brushes) to meshes. If your rose would have been an (insanely intricate and very beautiful) brush, MeshMaker might have helped to create a mesh out of it.
[/B]
Translucent and modulated triangles always will be twosided.
Also if different triangles EnviromentMap, they automatically will receive only 1 common texture. Ucc make changes some flags. Also I suspect communication palette texture.
I still shall study flags triangles.

Mychaeel
26th Nov 2001, 01:26 PM
That's right, but two-sided mesh faces aren't always translucent... :)

So far I know of the following special face types: Translucent/two-sided (2), two-sided (3), modulated/two-sided (4), weapon triangle for player meshes (8), and unlit (16). Environment mapping is an Actor property, bMeshEnviromap.

If you find more (masked skins, for instance), be my guest.

Mychaeel
6th Dec 2001, 04:14 AM
Internal beta testing has started (see this thread (http://forums.beyondunreal.com/showthread.php?threadid=95259) for a teaser shot). Expect more news shortly.

Thanks, Exodus-R---I'll see that I incorporate your findings in MeshMaker before its release (with due credit, of course).

The image I posted first in this thread is buggy, by the way. Due to the slightly strange way Unreal's mesh format handles texture coordinates, the skin mapping of the "fluid" in the mesh on the left side of the image isn't correct. That's fixed by now.

ElBundee
6th Dec 2001, 08:13 AM
Hi!



I happily tried MeshMaker yesterday for the decoration of my map and made some very nice meshes for lamps and certain other elements. Building the lamps using normal brushes, intersecting them and pumping the exported file through MM with the rusult of having a fine mesh... ahhhhh! :). Don't have it here, but I'll upload some examples later and link them. (BTW: Never seen thaaaat round bars yet... :tup:



El

WildWing
6th Dec 2001, 02:35 PM
Is there a demo of Meshmaker available for download and Exodus-R how didi you make that golden metallic texture in your screen shot?

TaoPaiPai
6th Dec 2001, 02:40 PM
It's an environment mapped texture,you can have this effect on any surface in ued by checking the option.It looks like he did it for a mesh though

ElBundee
6th Dec 2001, 02:40 PM
Hi!

Here they are:

http://www.ph.tum.de/~mkath/jb/lamps.jpg

Originals on the left, MeshMaker result on the right.

.u attached, containing the decorations ElsLamp01 and ElsLamp02. Feel free to use...

ElBundee

Gah - here comes the zip...

ElsLamps01.zip (http://www.ph.tum.de/~mkath/jb/ElsLamps01.zip)

Mychaeel
6th Dec 2001, 02:45 PM
Is there a demo of Meshmaker available for downloadNo. As said before, it's currently being beta tested (by ElBundee, among others). I'll release version 1.0 on Friday or Saturday, depending on when I get the docs done.

WildWing
6th Dec 2001, 04:56 PM
Originally posted by TaoPaiPai
It's an environment mapped texture,you can have this effect on any surface in ued by checking the option.It looks like he did it for a mesh though Where is this option in Ued, or when does it come up?

WildWing
6th Dec 2001, 05:06 PM
Originally posted by Mychaeel
No. As said before, it's currently being beta tested (by ElBundee, among others). I'll release version 1.0 on Friday or Saturday, depending on when I get the docs done. So, let me get this straight, using this nice lil' program will "spice" brushes made in Ued to what it looks to me, the likes of 3D Studio Max or Milkshape and Bryce?

Mychaeel
6th Dec 2001, 07:12 PM
MeshMaker converts UnrealEd prefabs (in other words, brushes) to meshes (like ones you could create with MilkShape or 3D Studio Max). If you wish, MeshMaker also creates an .u file that contains the converted prefabs as Decoration actors.

Unreal's graphics engine can render one or two orders of magnitude more mesh faces than brush polys in the same time. (For comparison, a single player model consists of about 600 to 1200 mesh faces.) Thus, you can create much more detail with meshes than you could sensibly do with actual brushes.

This comes at a cost, of course. Meshes only have an upright collision cylinder, not per-poly collision like brushes do; meshes are vertex lighted, not lightmap lighted like brushes; only up to eight individual textures are supported per mesh, and textures can't be tiled on faces as they are on brush surfaces; and even if only part of a mesh is visible on the screen, it's always processed as a whole by the engine.

On the other hand, meshes' vertex lighting might occasionally even be a desirable effect since it makes objects look smoother. Besides, you won't ever have to worry about grid alignment and BSP holes when using meshes (very opposed to the problems that might occur when dealing with highly detailed brushes). And there's a ton of things you can do with Decoration actors that are simply impossible with brushes, like making them destructible, or letting them float on water, or attaching them to movers, or making them revolve, and so on...

Mychaeel
6th Dec 2001, 07:49 PM
Originally posted by Exodus-R
Triangle flags Two bugs: Firstly, the last two columns should be labeled "NoSm"(ooth), "EnvM"(ap) in this order, not the other way; secondly, the face flags including the "NoSm"(ooth) attribute start at 0x80, not 0x60.

Anyway, your face flag table was very helpful to me. :)

Mychaeel
7th Dec 2001, 03:49 AM
Uhmm... yes. It just isn't the correct result unless those changes are applied (for instance, NoSmooth can be applied together with any other valid attribute, but EnvMap is exclusive).

No offense whatsoever, I just wanted to get it straight for future reference.

LP
7th Dec 2001, 04:46 AM
i didnt know u could enviromap an object , AND retain the initial texture like a shader :s

BT the results are much better!!! I want this Prog..wil it work for Unreal 2??